The history of the name for Konami’s football games is complicated. Today, PES is called eFootball, and PES is no longer Pro Evolution Soccer but an acronym. To make things more complicated, the series of games that preceded that Pro Evolution Soccer included the names: Live World Soccer Perfect Eleven, Winning Eleven, Goal Storm, Perfect Striker, and International Superstar Soccer. It was not until 2001 that Konami decided on just one name that we know today under the acronym PES.
The first Pro Evolution Soccer came out on this day exactly 20 years ago for the PlayStation 2 console. PES was conceived as a simulation of football, and as such moved away from the ISS series developed by another team. While ISS turned to arcade gameplay, PES kept its focus on the authentic presentation of football from previous ISS Pro Evolution games. Yes, that name story is complicated.
The original Pro Evolution Soccer was also the first game in the series to appear on the then-new PlayStation 2 console. This allowed Konami’s football to make a significant leap in presentation. Everything in PES was nicer - the lawn, the audience net, the ball - at the time the game looked top-notch. PES also appeared on the first PlayStation a few months later, but that version was visually weaker and did not bring much progress compared to the ISS Pro Evolution 2.
The motto of the game was "We are a football tribe". The game had a total of 32 clubs from the English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Argentine, and Brazilian leagues. None of these teams were licensed, just like the eight stadiums where they played. But fans didn’t suffer too much at the time.
Pro Evolution Soccer achieved significant success in the market in addition to which Konami was forced to euthanize following ISS. The sequel followed as early as the following year, and PES consolidated and retained the status of the king of football games on the PlayStation. Until 2007, PES was numbered with ordinal numbers, and then PES 6 was followed by PES 2008.
In 2019, Konami once again decided to change the name of the series. Pro Evolution Soccer has remained as an acronym - PES, and everyone still refers to the series by that acronym, but officially PES has become eFootball PES. As of this year, that acronym has also gone down in history, and Konami’s football has become just eFootball.